Floyd Johnson is a freelance copywriter and content marketer, he is also the founder of Conversions Lab where he helps bloggers and content marketers grow their email list with actionable email marketing strategies and tips.
In this content creation guide, we will walk through the process and the steps you need to know to create outstanding content.
According to global research, more than 90% of businesses include content marketing in their overall marketing strategy. Content marketing is a great way to boost brand awareness and generate conversions.
However, you will need to build a powerful content marketing strategy and content creation process in order to succeed in content.
Let’s understand what is content creation?
Content creation is the process that combines defining content marketing goals, brainstorming topic ideas, preparing outlines, and creating content that appeals to your buyer persona and desired goals. Content should be accessible to your audience as a blog, video, infographic, or other formats.
By following the in-depth content creation guide below, we will walk through the process and the steps you need to know to create outstanding content.
1. Define content marketing goal
Prepare your content strategy by keeping your marketing goals in mind. For example, if you want to increase organic traffic to your site by 30 percent over the next quarter.
Hence, align each piece of content you create with that goal, contributing to your desired outcome.
Make sure to set a SMART goals i.e Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant & Timely.
The first step of all research starts with studying your competitors. Looking at their most popular content but most importantly, Paying attention to the articles that get the most engagement. The whole idea behind the research process is to find a proven topic you can create the best content on.
Another way to find content that performs well on your competitor's website is to enter their website in Buzzsumo. This will show you the most shared content on their site.
Make a list of all the top content that gets the most engagement and repeat this process for at least 3 popular blogs in your niche. The next step of the research process is to find the top keywords in your industry.
Finding a topic that your customers are searching for can be time-consuming. but, what if there was a way to discover the best keywords you should target for your new article.
In fact, here's the process. Using SEMrush you can enter your competitors URL in the search bar then scroll down and select “view full report” under “Top Organic Keywords”.
This will show you all the keywords that your competitors are ranking for and also where on google they are ranking for those keywords.
So in this process, you want to jot down a few of those keywords that seem like a good fit for your article topic.
3. Validate demands
By now you should have a few content topic ideas and keywords from the research that you have done. Now it’s time to validate the demand for your topic. This process is to determine if these topic ideas are worth writing about for your new content.
One of the easiest ways to do this is to check places your potential audience hangs out.
- You can use forums like Reddit.
- Search Facebook groups
- Search on Quora.
For example, if your topic is about the paleo diet. Check to see what problems are being discussed on the forums and on Quora.
It should all starts to come together with finding more angles and ideas that you can include in your content.
So the final step of the research process is to
4. Identify content gaps
Now, what are content gaps? Content gaps are the areas that are not included in your competitor's article.
For example, if your competitor writes an article about email marketing but didn't talk about “How to segment email list” or “How to increase Open rates.” Make a note of that.
Another way to find content gaps is to look through the comments of articles on your topic. Often times readers ask questions in the comments that were not answered in the article…
Add these questions to your list of content ideas. More often than not a single question can be covered in a 2000 word blog post.
5. Outline & write your content
This is where it all comes together…
You have done most of the hard work in the research process. Because believe it or not most content creators never research their topic before writing. They just pick a topic out of thin air and that's one of the biggest mistakes. So let's start the outline process.
Before you outline your content choose the topic from your list that has the most demand and gets the most shared on social media. Then you're ready to outline the content. I outline and write all my content in Google Docs. A rough outline of my content after the research process looks something like this.
Ideally, you want to create an outline with the 3-5 key points of the topic. An outline helps you weed out bad ideas. If you are still having issues outlining the main subtopics that should be in your content, Google the topic you choose and look at the top ten results to see what sub-topics they include in their blog post and in what order.
This should give you an idea of the flow your content should have...
Next, you want to add the content gaps you found from the research process in between subtopics of your post where it makes sense.
6. Writing your content.
So you have a rough outline of your article, now what?
At this point, you should be all geared up to write an amazing article that will grab the reader's attention. But let me give you a few tips you can use to write content that stands out.
a. Write the hook/intro and conclusion first:
If the intro of your article is boring, no one will read it. As it turns out people will judge your content based on the first few sentences. So when writing your intro make sure to use sentences that are thought-provoking and keep you interested.
If you are still reading this article it means that I did a good job with the intro so feel free to use it as inspiration. You can do this by asking questions at the beginning of your intro, that way the readers will keep reading to find the answer.
Once you have your intro nailed down. It’s time to write your conclusion. Writing the conclusions is not as complicated as the intro, all you need to do is highlight the main points the readers should take away from the article and then add a call to action.
b. Make your content actionable.
According to studies done by Jonah Berger, it reveals that people will share your content if it has a high utility. In other words, It should appear useful. People like to help others, so showing how they can help others makes them more likely to share it.
So you want to ensure your content is packed with actionable tips and strategies.
c. Find an angle.
Your article should have an angle on the topic you choose, not just any angle.
But an angle that will stand out…
Here are a few angles you can take when writing your content.
- Interesting: Something that your target audience is interested in.
- Needed: Solves a problem your audience is having
- Have a Twist: Different from the other articles on the same topic...
With these tips in mind, you will be able to finish writing remarkable content in no time…
Let's move on to the next step of the content creation process.
7. Add promotion and include influencers
When it comes to creating content, promotion is more important than the writing process itself. So in the content creation process, you should be using promotional elements that will help promote the content itself.
Here are a few techniques you can use:
8. Include quotes from influencers
If you want your content to have more credibility one of the easiest ways is to include quotes from influencers in your space. Influencers are putting out stuff almost every day online, all you need to do is search on their website and find a line that will compliment your content and include it in your content.
Make sure to give credit every time you quote an influencer.
Add “Click To Tweet”.
Adding a click to tweet quotes or tips in your content is also another great way to add promotional elements. Click to tweet elements allows the reader to easily share your content on twitter with just the click of a button.
9. Reference data, stats, research and surveys
Bloggers are always looking for statistics and data to link to in their content to increase their credibility.
You should do the same. Adding statistics and data shows that your content is well researched...
10. Content review
It’s time to start putting the final touches to your content.
I call this the content review process. At this point, you want to go over your content to make sure it's the best on that topic.
Studies show that 58% of marketers said: “original written content” is the most important type of content, outdoing visuals and videos.
So you want to make sure your content is original and remarkable.
The first step of this process is to check for grammar and spelling errors.
Using a tool like Grammarly can help you get through this process in less than no time.
The next step is to remove unnecessary words and sentences.
This step is all about keeping your content fluff-free because the last thing you want is another content that is full of advice that has no value.
Any sentences that seem too long, trim it.
To make the process of a sinch you can use the Hemmingway editor app. It helps you remove unnecessary words and shorten sentences.
The final step of the content review process is to write a Kick-Ass headline.
Typically 8/10 people will read your headline, and only 2 out of the 10 will actually click through and read the actual content. With that in mind, you want to write a headline that conveys a sense of curiosity but also gives the reader an idea of what to expect in your content. You can check out this guide on how to write a good headline.
11. Add mixed media
Adding media gives your content an extra edge over most content on the web. Even studies show that people have the ability to recall 65% of the visual content that they see almost three days later. So at this point, you should be creating custom images for your content.
For example, Ahref creates a custom image banner for every single blog post they publish.
You can outsource this step if you don't have any design skills. Here are a few other mix media that you can add to your content to make it more engaging.
- Embedded videos
- Embedded SlideShares
- Use gifs
12. Publish & promote
So you should have an amazing piece of content ready to be published. Am talking about a content that will give readers a reason to share and have influencers talking about it. So now it’s time to upload your content to the web and publish it. To upload your content and save time you can use a tool like Wordable
Wordable uploads your content straight from Google Docs to WordPress. Once your content is uploaded it’s time to start promoting your content. You have already included a few promotion elements throughout your content which will make the promotion process much easier.
You should spend 80% of your time marketing your content and 20% writing it. But, you might be wondering how do you actually promote your content? It's Simple…
13. Email outreach
One of the first steps is to reach out to the influencers that you Quote and link to in your content. You can use this email script:
Subject: Featured you in an article
Just thought I’d give you a quick heads-up: I linked to you (and said a few nice things)
in my latest post. If you’d like to see it, here’s the link:
(your post URL)
Keep cranking out the great content!
Not everyone you email will respond but a good percent will. Keep in mind, these influencers get hundreds of emails every day.
14. Email newsletter
There are many ways you can promote your content but none beats your own email Subscribers. That's why 40 percent of B2B marketers say email newsletters are most critical to their content marketing success.
So you want to send out a quick email to your newsletter subscribers…
After sending out your content to your newsletters it’s time to get a little buzz on social media with your content.
15. Write 5-10 social media updates
For every content that I publish I write at least 5 - 10 social media updates that I will post over a 7--day period, for example, I will write 5- 6 different tweets that I will use to tweet out my article on twitter.
You can also mention Influencers in your tweet that you link to.
Alright, So your content is getting some attention and your starting to see some traction in your Google Analytics. Does that mean the work is done?
Of course not.
There's still more work in the promotion department.
16. Paid promotion
When it comes to paid promotion it's a bit scary to spend on paid ads when you have no idea if you're going to get a bang for your buck.
But there is no reason to worry, in fact, a study shows that Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.
And there are ways to ensure that your content gets seen by the right audience when you use paid ads. Let's dive in.
17. Facebook retargeting
If you want to ensure your content gets seen by an audience that will engage with it. There is no easier way than to use Facebook Retargeting Ads.
Unlike regular paid ads, Facebook retargeting shows your content to visitors that have already visited your website in a specific time frame, for example, the last 30-60 days…
The first step is to install facebook pixel on your site. Next, share your content on Facebook.
This will get some engagement on your content. Now that you have some engagement on your content it’s time to boost your post.
They will ONLY target people that visited your site in the last 30-60 days. And that’s it.
Facebook will show your content to visitors that are interested in consuming your content.
Want to get your content in front of high influencers? Well, there's no better way than to use Quuu promote. Quuu promote will show your content to all the influencers in the category that you choose to promote your post in. And that will get your content spread faster by these influencers.
Think about this: Which sounds easier finding 1000 persons to read your Article or finding 1 person that can send you 1000 readers? It thinks the answer is clear.
You can get your content promoted for a full 30 days for $25. There are many other ways to promote your content with paid ads but I limit this list to just the ones that will get results for your content. You can also repurpose your content to get more engagement and traffic from it in the early days also.
Content marketing is not just about creating content and sharing it on social media...
Mediocre content is not content marketing. So if you want your content to get shared by influencers in your space it all starts with doing the research to find topics that have already proven to perform well.
Specifically, You need to create content on a topic, framework or structure that’s already performed well. And this Content creating process guide is a proven system you can use to create your content whether you publish content on your own blog or on places like Medium.
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